If you like Virtual reality, you probably followed the news from CES this week. There’s no shortage of new augmented reality glasses and virtual reality headsets. But the biggest AR-VR news comes from a company that deliberately didn’t announce it at CES.
This week has seen more leaks about Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset. A report from The Information outlines a slew of new details on the most anticipated wearable device in years. According to unnamed Apple insiders who worked on the project, the ski goggle-shaped device will have a range of features. Some of these, like foveated rendering and pass-through view, are also present in competing headsets like the Meta Quest Pro and Sony’s upcoming PS VR2. But Apple’s headset aims to be lighter than the Quest Pro and more flexible than either competitor.
Internal sensors automatically adjust 8K visuals (4K per eyeball) to the user’s unique facial features. Some features also seem designed to make the experience of wearing headphones less like being sealed away in a digital silo. An internal camera translates your facial expressions to a display on the outside of the device. An Apple Watch-style watch face on the side lets you quickly switch between your VR view and a colorful view of the real world around you. Much to Meta’s chagrin, Apple’s headphones can even capture leg movements.
The leak also exposed some limitations. Bluetooth headphones not made by Apple have reportedly been unable to sync with the headphones. There’s no headphone jack, so you’ll either need AirPods or one of the speaker-equipped headphone straps Apple is working on. While there is no hint of a release date, production of the device has reportedly been delayed several times. Apple may be preparing to release the device later this year.
Here’s some other consumer tech news.
Apple reportedly cancels iPhone SE
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst With TF International Securities, Apple may not produce a new iPhone SE. Citing supply chain issues and lower sales of mid-range phones compared to the iPhone Pro models, Kuo said Apple may choose to delay or simply not release the new iPhone SE this year.
The SE is a decent enough phone, but apparently Apple’s stifling marketing of its flagship device is holding back the budget model. Either that or people prefer bigger phones these days. Since Apple dropped the iPhone Mini last year, it seems to have moved away from smaller, more modest options.
Google Maps, where are you?
Hey, did you know you can use Google Maps while driving? Okay, yes, that’s the core functionality of Google’s GPS app, but now the company is introducing something different for certain vehicles. Google allows car companies to implement its high-definition mapping software in their car navigation software. It’s not Google Maps per se, but it’s a bedrock system that underpins car technology. So far, Volvo and Polestar have said they will use Google’s high-definition mapping system.
We live at CES now
It’s impossible to keep typing this news roundup without making it to CES. For the first time since 2020, WIRED participated in the major consumer tech event in person, allowing our reporters to experience all the wacky tech on display.
this week’s gadget lab Podcasts straight from the heart of CES. Our on-the-ground team gathered late at night in a Las Vegas hotel room to break through the marketing buzz and highlight the highlights from this year’s CES.
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